Michael Taylor is the editorial director of Insider Media, a Manchester-based business publishing and events company. He was born in Lancaster and went to the University of Manchester to study sociology in 1985. He was told his academic research was too journalistic, took the hint and has been a magazine journalist ever since. After a year-long stint in the entertainment press in Australia, Michael worked in London for four different magazine publishers as a business writer throughout the 1990s before completing his journey through London in 2000 when he returned north to Insider. He lives in Marple (where Manchester meets the Peaks) with his wife Rachel and their five young sons. Michael blogs at The Marple Leaf.
Why do you blog? > Ego, probably, but The Marple Leaf is a chance to sound off about whatever I like.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Finding out that different people like it for different reasons.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Can't shake off a spam poster from Japan.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > To thine own self be true; link a lot; and use Twitter, Linked In and other social networks.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Tony Wilson, Terry Eagleton, Antonio Gramsci and Anthony Giddens (for his reforging of sociology, not for the Third Way). Latterly, I find Phillip Blond intriguing, but fear he's being used to apply intellectual ballast to a flimsy vessel.
What are you reading at the moment? > Believe in the Sign by Mark Hodkinson.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Tony Wilson, George Orwell, David Simon, Paul Heaton, Guy Garvey, Lily Allen, Paul Weller, Liam Spencer, Charles Hallé and Massimo Osti.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
What is your favourite movie? > The English Patient.
What is your favourite song? > 'One Day Like This' by Elbow - at the moment.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > Apart from a surge of the Trots in my late teens I've been consistent in my moral and political senses ever since: social justice, strong public services, regionalism, human rights, fairness and yet support for an economic policy which doesn't burden individual entrepreneurship. I used to support Labour like I support Blackburn Rovers; now I couldn't care less about parties and politicians. After bobbing around at its fringes I properly joined the Catholic Church in 2007.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Love: 'If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.' - (Corinthians 13.2)
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'All political careers end in failure.' (Enoch Powell)
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Devolution of power from London to the great cities of England.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > A desperate sense, real or imagined, of injustice.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > The best is yet to come from a flatter world.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Spend time with the people you love.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Caroline Aherne.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Blackburn Rovers.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > No, probably not, but my wife is a Burnley supporter, so anything's possible.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Chippy northern pride can runneth over.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Our sons.
What would you call your autobiography? > And Then There Were Five.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Margaret River, Western Australia.
What would your ideal holiday be? > A full summer in Italy with the family.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > University teacher/academic.
Who are your sporting heroes? > The old boys like Sir Tom Finney.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I might be able to spend even more time with the people I love.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature - posted, on this occasion, a day late because of Christmas. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]